Upbeat over 36 per cent growth in direct tax collections last fiscal, the Government on Monday said budget estimate under this head will be revised upwards substantially from around Rs 3,65,000 crore for 2008-09.
Talking to reporters, Finance Minister P Chidambaram indicated that budget estimate for direct tax collections may be increased to over Rs 3,92,000 crore for this fiscal.
The estimate will no longer be Rs 3,65,000 crore. The CBDT will meet over the next couple of days and increase the estimate upwards, Chidambaram said after inaugurating two-day annual conference of Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.
Even if you take a 25 per cent increase over last years collection of over Rs 3,14,468 crore, the budget estimates must be revised upward very sharply, he said. Twenty five per cent growth over the last years collection will push the estimate of direct tax collection to over Rs 3,92,000 crore.
When asked what is the rationale of being so upbeat on direct tax collection despite fear of slowdown in economic growth, Chidambaram reiterated that every estimate says that Economy will still grow at 8.5 per cent this fiscal.
Referring to non-compliance of TDS rules by the some ministries, he said, We are not happy with TDS deductions in the Defence Ministry and Railways Ministry. We are taking steps to sensitise the authorised deductors in the government sector to comply with law and improve the TDS. Steps are being taken to work with the Ministries of Defence and Railways. So, we are confident there would be significant improvement in 2008-09, he said.
On prosecution of tax evaders, he said directions have been issued that if during a search or survey a person is found that he has stopped filing returns for the past three years or has never filed a return, invariably such a case will be taken for prosecution.